While the Spider-Man musical has been struggling along with all the momentum of an elderly man wearing roller skates trying to go up Lombard Hill after it has been covered with lard, another nerd-derived Broadway musical has opened with the fanfare of a million angels playing Handel’s Water Music while flying over a burning fireworks factory.
The Book of Mormon, by South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q’s Robert Lopez, is being hailed as a f•••ing masterpiece. The guy from the NY Timesjust about passed out from excitement, and reveals that the show even takes on their arachnid composer down the street:
But Mr. Gad remains likable and funny (especially doing Bono in a number called “I Am Africa”), while Mr. Rannells makes brilliant use of his character’s narcissism, which isn’t so far from the impulse that animates musical stage stars. As Nabulungi, the smart, dewy village girl who dreams of Salt Lake City, the sweet but savvy Nikki M. James gives a lovely, funny performance, never winking at her character’s earnestness. And for combining polish, enthusiasm and individuality, the ensemble is the best in a musical since Susan Stroman’s team for “The Producers.”
Everyone who has seen the show, from Jon Stewert to Andrew Sullivan, is going nuts:
It is the best thing they have ever done – musically, theatrically, comically. They are slowly becoming the Hogarths and Swifts of our time – because by trashing the world with anarchic humor and biting commentary, they are obviously also intent on saving it. And loving it regardless.
Yeah boys, we knew you had it in you all along, even if you are kind of pussies now.
The only problem now is why the F didn’t we get Book of Mormon tickets when we had a chance?
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.